Monthly Archives: September 2014

Happy Birthday Bob Newhart!

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“The only way to survive is to have a sense of humor.”

Bob Newhart

 

From “The Jack Paar Show,” 1965

 

“Air Traffic Controller” from “The Smothers Brothers”

 

“Bus Driver Training”

 

“Interview Nightmare” from “The Bob Newhart Show”

 

“The World’s Smallest Horse” from “Newhart.”

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In Memoriam – Joan Rivers, 1933 – 2014

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“I wish I had a twin, so I could know what I’d look like without plastic surgery.”

“I hate housework. You make the beds, you do the dishes, and six months later, you have to start all over again.”

“I don’t exercise. If God had wanted me to bend over, he would have put diamonds on the floor.”

“I’ve had so much plastic surgery, when I die, they will donate my body to Tupperware.”

“I am definitely going to watch the Emmys this year! My makeup team is nominated for Best Special Effects.”

“A study says owning a dog makes you 10 years younger. My first thought was to rescue two more, but I don’t want to go through menopause again.”

“You know why I feel older? I went to buy sexy underwear and they automatically gift wrapped it.”

“Half of all marriages end in divorce – and then there are the really unhappy ones.”

“My breasts are so low, now I can have a mammogram and a pedicure at the same time.”

“Don’t tell your kids you had an easy birth or they won’t respect you. For years I used to wake up my daughter and say, ‘Melissa, you ripped me to shreds. Now go back to sleep.’”

“I was dating a transvestite, and my mother said, ‘Marry him, you’ll double your wardrobe.’”

“My sex life is so bad, my G-spot has been declared a historical landmark.”

“The fashion magazines are suggesting that women wear clothes that are ‘age appropriate.’ For me that would be a shroud.”

“Grandchildren can be so fucking annoying. How many times can you go, ‘And the cow goes moo and the pig goes oink’? It’s like talking to a supermodel.”

“Never be afraid to laugh at yourself. After all, you could be missing out on the joke of the century.”

“The only way I can get a man to touch me at this age is plastic surgery.”

“At my funeral, I want Meryl Streep crying in five different accents.”

“I have become my own version of an optimist. If I can’t make it through one door, I’ll go through another door or I’ll make a door. Something terrific will come no matter how dark the present.”

Joan Rivers

 

“The Ed Sullivan Show,” 1967

 

“The Carol Burnett Show,” 1974

 

“The Tonight Show,” 1982

 

“The Tonight Show” with Johnny Carson, 1986

 

“The View,” 2012

 

“The Tonight Show” with Jimmy Fallon, 2014

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Laborious

Finally – some good news!

Finally – some good news!

A few years ago – about a year after I got laid off from an engineering company and while I struggled to find even a temporary job while trying to launch my freelance writing career – I told a close friend of mine via email that, when the economy improves, people will start switching jobs without giving much, if any, notice to their employers.

“True,” he replied.

It’s starting to happen. The recent economic crisis – the worst in this nation’s history since the Great Depression – almost completely destroyed our financial stability. Multiple factors were responsible for it: broad-based tax cuts for the wealthiest citizens and largest corporations; further deregulation of banking and housing; and the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq. Between December 2007 (when the recession officially commenced) and June 2009 (when it officially ended), the U.S. economy shed roughly 8.7 million jobs. Employers began to add jobs in 2010. Only recently, however, have we regained all those lost jobs.

There’s no real cause for celebration. The after effects of such a prolonged economic debacle are as varied as the causes. People lost accumulated personal wealth; state and local economies suffered decreased tax revenue; and home values dropped. Wages, however, remain stagnant, despite increased productivity. People have always worked too damn hard for their money. Of course, everyone feels they’re overworked and underpaid. But now, we have statistical proof. But, according to Ben Bernanke, chairman of the U.S. Federal Reserve System, the “Great Recession” actually was worse than the Great Depression. In a statement filed on August 22 with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, as part of a response to a lawsuit over the 2008 bailout of insurance giant American International Group (AIG), Bernanke said:

“September and October of 2008 was the worst financial crisis in global history, including the Great Depression.” Of the 13 “most important financial institutions in the United States, 12 were at risk of failure within a period of a week or two.”

When asked why he thought it was critical for the U.S. government to rescue AIG, Bernanke replied:

“AIG’s demise would be a catastrophe” and “could have resulted in a 1930s-style global financial and economic meltdown, with catastrophic implications for production, income, and jobs.”

Obviously, too-big-to-fail truly has become too big to fail! The Great Depression was exacerbated by the fact the Federal Reserve System didn’t take command of the banks. Billionaire financier Andrew Mellon was the U.S. Treasury Secretary during the Hoover Administration and – like a typical conservative Republican – believed the nation’s banks had gotten themselves into trouble and needed to get themselves out of it, even if that meant they failed and took their customers’ money with them. Which they did, of course, in very large numbers. At the time, though, we didn’t have a Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) to safeguard people’s financial assets. The federal government’s lackadaisical attitude at the onset of the Great Depression forced Republicans to lose both houses of Congress during the 1930 midterm elections and shoved Hoover out of the White House two years later. That same kind of ineptitude is probably what caused them to lose both houses of Congress in 2006.

Yet, as the economy continues to recover and employers continue adding jobs, I see my aforementioned prediction materializing. During sluggish markets, employers can afford to be picky on who they hire and can freeze wages and salaries at will. It’s almost cruel and inhumane the way some can behave. And, what’s the average worker to do? With children, mortgages, car payments and other debts, they’re often stuck. They have little power.

But, from January to June of this year, more than 14 million people quit their jobs. I would like to think they left for better jobs. And, I’d like to believe they gave little notice to their employers. After all, companies don’t have to give employees any real notice when they plan to let someone go; albeit, quite often, people can feel it. In 2009, there were approximately seven people for every job opening. As of June 2014, the ratio had dropped to 2-to-1. Overall, the number of unemployed has dropped by 5 million, while the number of new jobs has grown by 2.5 million. Now, there’s talk of a problem we haven’t seen in a while: labor shortage. Companies are starting to feel one of the adverse effects of an improving economy; there aren’t enough people, or at least not enough qualified people, to fill certain positions. Thus, it’s employees and jobseekers who can be picky.

And, that’s a good thing. It’s really the way it should be. Only once in my life have I had the pleasure of quitting a job I hate; in January 1989, I left a retail position, which I’d held for nearly three years. I just walked into the place and gave my immediate supervisor a typewritten note announcing my resignation. But, I’ve known a few people who, in recent years, essentially gave their boss the middle finger and walked out of a company. They recounted their experiences with glee. We spend a great deal of time at work; often more than with our own families. Work gives people personal value and a sense of accomplishment, and everyone who makes an effort to complete a job should be respected. Whether that person answers the phones in a call center; digs ditches for sewer lines; programs a voice mail system; or rings up items at a cash register, they should be considered important. They pay taxes and insurance and they put the rest of their money back into the economy as consumers.

Last week, an executive in the company where I’m working as a contract technical writer staged an impromptu meeting to announce a major organizational change. After presenting a variety of business details, he said something that I’d never heard from someone at his level: “Family is more important than work.” He emphasized that everyone needs to place greater value on their loved ones than on their careers; noting that he hadn’t done that and almost paid the price for it. I’ve heard some executives tell people on an individual basis the same thing – but never in such a large setting. He’s right. A company won’t collapse because you can’t make it to a business conference. You won’t necessarily recall that training seminar. But, you most likely will remember a child’s sports event. And, you’ll cherish it forever.

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Happy Birthday Gloria Estefan!

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Gloria Estefan born September 1, 1957.

 

“Anything for You”

 

“Con Los Anos Que Me Quedan (Over the Years that I Remain)”

 

“Oye Mi Canto (It Hears Me Singing)”

 

“Rhythm Is Gonna Get You”

 

“Turn the Beat Around”

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Happy Birthday Barry Gibb!

Barry-Gibb

Barry Gibb born September 1, 1946.

 

“Grease”

 

“How Deep Is Your Love”

 

“Stayin’ Alive”

 

“To Love Somebody”

 

“Tragedy”

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Happy Birthday Lily Tomlin!

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Born Mary Jean Tomlin on September 1, 1939.

 

As “Ernestine”, the telephone operator

 

As “Edith Ann” Q & A with the Audience

 

Lucille the Rubber Freak

 

“The Search for Signs of Intelligent Life in the Universe”

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Happy Labor Day 2014!

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“All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence.”

Martin Luther King, Jr.

 

Labor Day – United States.

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